Dr. Kaasalainen joined the School of Nursing in 2002 as an Assistant Professor and became a Full Professor in 2018. She has been appointed and holds the inaugural Gladys Sharpe Chair in Nursing since 2020. In 2007 she completed a two-year CHSRF Post Doctoral Fellowship at McMaster University and was an Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care Career Scientist from 2008-2011 and a HSFO/Michael G. DeGroote Chair in Cardiovascular Nursing Research Fellow in 2012. Currently, Dr. Kaasalainen is an Associate member of the Department of Family Medicine at McMaster University, an Honorary Professor at Queens University Belfast, and an Honorary Adjunct Professor in the School of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of Technology Sydney. She is a co-lead of the Strengthening a Palliative Approach in Long-Term Care (SPA-LTC) program along with a national team of health and social researchers. SPA-LTC aims to improve the quality of living and dying for residents and their family/friends in long term care. Learn more at https://spaltc.ca/.
2018 Health Science Graduate Student Federation (HSGSF) Excellence in Graduate Student Supervisory Award
2016 President’s Award for Excellence in Graduate Supervision Award Nominee
Dr. Kaasalainen’s research program is focused on improving the quality of life for people living in long term care (LTC) homes with a particular focus on pain management and palliative care. Other areas of interest include examining the role of nurse practitioners in LTC and ways to optimize this role to enhance resident care. She has received research funding from Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care; both as a principal and co-investigator with the primary focus on improving quality of care for LTC residents.
2021: BScN Program, McMaster University - 4NR3, Nursing Research, Year 4
Dr. Kaasalainen supervises both Masters and PhD students in the graduate program.